Chinese Foreign Ministry: China urges U.S., Australia to stop hyping up tensions
US and Australia set to expand military cooperation amid tensions with China
The parties, in particular, discussed the expansion of operations in Darwin, where the American Marines are stationed on a rotational basis.
The US and Australia have said they will expand military cooperation amid escalating tensions with China, forming a united front between the two allies.
Australian Foreign and Defense Ministers who arrived in Washington have expressed unequivocal support for a tougher US administration’s stance on China.
“The United States is aware of the threats you and the rest of the free world face. The United States is by your side in our unbreakable alliance, ”Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Australian ministers at a joint press conference..
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper welcomed the participation of five Australian ships in joint exercises with a US carrier strike group and a Japanese destroyer in the Philippine Sea last week..
“These exercises not only enhance interoperability, but also send a clear signal to Beijing that we will fly, sail and act wherever international law allows, and protect the right of our allies and partners to do the same,” Esper said..
Australian Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds said the two countries will strengthen relations in a wide variety of defense areas, including hypersonic, electronic and space weapons.
“This collaboration will enhance our ability to promote regional security and deter malicious behavior in our region,” she said..
In a joint statement, the ministers noted that they discussed expanding operations in the city of Darwin in northern Australia, where US Marines have been deployed on a rotational basis since 2012 at the initiative of former President Barack Obama..
The United States will create a military fuel reserve in Darwin, and the allies will consider the possibility of conducting joint exercises with like-minded countries, which probably mean Japan and India..
Australia said last year that it would not serve as a base for US medium-range missiles. According to many, such a move would be directed against China..
Asked if Australia’s stance on missiles has softened, Esper said the Allies have “a full set of capabilities and strategies” that they intend to jointly implement in the future..
Pompeo is in favor of a hard line on China, questioning the correctness of half a century of American contacts policy and calling for an alliance to oppose Frankenstein – Beijing.
Despite Australia’s dependence on trade with China, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison broadly supported the United States..